Originally Posted by California Republic
Ive been sailing for 10 years but am really only an amateur. Just going out on day trips around San Diego bay or half day trips around the Marina in Los Angeles on rentals.
Ive had a dream my whole life of going farther ... very far. I looking to buy a used sail boat this month a70s era 27 boat with cabin I could take to S America, hug the coast on a seriously long trip for a couple of months with a friend or two in January.
How long would it realistically take to get to Columbia? Ive heard around 30 days... has anyone here done it?
Can someone please advise on sleeping in open-water at night? Ive only done day trips.. where would i learn more about this subject?
What dangers do I realistically face and what supplies are absolutely necessary? Lift raft and radar i know are important any suggestions?
Has anyone on here actually done this long of a trip on a smaller vessel??
I think you should take a few shorter trips before starting the longer one. Not that familiar with the California coast but you could go to the islands offshore (make it an overnight trip if far enough) or a few hundred miles down the Mexican coast with stops most nights. Not sure of any real reason to want to go to Colombia quickly - better to enjoy yourself along the coast, I am sure there are lots of interesting spots to stop.
Also you need to learn what seasons are suited for going south and north - talk to someone who knows that coast - you can't just go wherever you want, whenever you want for a variety of reasons - prevailing winds and currents and tropical storms for starters. Check out noonsite.com for info about foreign destinations and World Cruising Routes by Cornell for where you can go and when. Not from personal experience, but I think there are some potential nasty weather conditions off parts of the coast of Central America that you need to know about.
We went from Panama to Ecuador last year and our research suggested that individual cruising boats should not go to ports along the Pacific coast of Colombia - just too much risk. This is the sort of thing you have to know. Similarly, we loved Ecuador but the entrance and movement requirements are quite stringent - again stuff to know - different rules everwhere.
My opinion would be that radar is not a first level requirement but an EPIRB would be - I think you really have a lot to learn before attempting such a venture and the learning takes time.
We met a guy in the Cook Islands and American Samoa who was singlehanding on a Bristol 27. Also seen a few Vega 27s out doing extended cruising. They are not very big and by my standards not very comfy, but solid and reliable boats. They also would have a decent resale if you did not pay too much and fix them up a bit. Stay faraway from the ferrocement boat if you want to be able to sell it. Some of them are built just fine (many aren't and I don't know how you tell the difference unless one is terrible) but they are almost uninsurable and because of that very, very hard to sell - but easy to buy.